Nuclear conflict breaks out in Europe

Sergey Savchuk

A united Europe has stepped into the new year, taking with it a whole heap of long-standing internal problems, the totality of which once again tests this geopolitical union for strength.
British media, citing their own sources in Brussels, reported that the European Commission is going to create a maximum assistance regime for investments in the nuclear and gas energy sectors in the very near future .
Quite simply, the European government is ready and urgently asks all its partners to recognize the atom and natural gas as environmentally friendly sources of energy, which will automatically remove these two areas from the global restrictions aimed at curtailing the traditional and transition to alternative energy. This decision is not at all spontaneous or sudden.
In December, now already last year, many EU member states unequivocally demonstrated their support, first of all, for the peaceful atom.
For example, Bulgaria , which, to please the United States, at one time voluntarily abandoned the South Stream project and is now watching with a fair amount of envy how Turkey receives all the geopolitical and financial preferences from the status of Europe’s southern gas hub . Russian gas pipe, slightly turning south, later instead of Bulgarian Varn-acame to the Turkish Lule-burgaz, leaving the Bulga-rians in the modest role of a transit country. In addition, according to Bulgarian di-plomat Dimitar Abadzhiev, his country is totally dependent on energy supplies from Russia. Ninety-five percent of natural gas and ninety percent of all oil products in Bulgaria are of Russian origin.
Also, Sofia at one time refused the proposal of Rosatom to build the Belene nuclear power plant. This was the period immediately after the return of Crimea, and the Bulgarian leadership, following in the wake of Western policy and the newfangled environmental agenda, simply refused to allow Russian nuclear scientists to participate in the tender. And then the puzzling 2021 came, and it suddenly became clear that the only NPP Kozloduy with its old Soviet VVER-440 reactors and a pair of more modern VVER-1000 reactors is almost the only reliable source of generation in the country. Moreover, according to the results of the past year, ” Kozloduy ” tripled its own profit, which amounted to $ 414 million.
The Bulgarian leadership, looking at everything that was happening, immediately changed the shoe and announced that it would demand the inclusion of atomic energy among the environmentally friendly ones.
Poland also lagged slightly behind . From there, no victorious reports have been heard for a long time about a complete and final break with Russia and the elimination of Russian domination with the help of supplies of democratic LNG from America . Now the local media daily, with obvious panic in their voices, are broadcasting reports on which day in a row Gazprom does not book transit facilities on the Polish section of the Yamal gas pipeline. Stumped by its own politics, unable to give up coal to meet domestic needs and lack the money to fulfill its part of the so-called green deal Warsawalso turns towards the atom. Public opinion polls show that 75 percent of Poles support the construction of the first nuclear power plant in the country. Following the trend, in mid-December, the Polish company Synthos Green Energy signed an agreement with the American GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy and the Canadian BWXT, stipulating the creation and deployment of at least ten small modular BWRX-300 reactors.
Everything here would be great if not for one thing. The signed memorandum implies that the American-Canadian tandem will take the power industry of Poland off the Russian gas hook, but this will not happen until 2029 – for the reason that the small modular reactor BWRX-300 exists so far only in the form of beautiful presentations. However, it should be noted that Poland, which annually consumes more than ten billion cubic meters of Russian gas (or 74 percent of all imports), albeit again with a discount on historical Russophobia, but connects its hopes for the future with the atom.
The main initiator of the environmental legalization of nuclear energy is France , and there is not the slightest surprise here.
At the moment, Paris is armed with 56 nuclear reactors with a total capacity of more than 60 gigawatts, this is the second result in the world and the first in Europe. More than 70 percent of French electricity (413 terawatt-hours) is produced at nuclear power plants, and due to the cheapness of products, France exports over 76 terawatt-hours per year, thereby replenishing the state budget by at least three billion euros.
Therefore, France, quite expectedly, having enlisted the support of countries such as Bulgaria, Croatia , Czech Republic , Finland , Hungary , Poland, Slovakia , Slovenia and Romania , sent a letter to the European Commission demanding to recognize nuclear energy as safe for the environment.
However, Germany suddenly opposed the proposal . German Environment Minister Steffi Lemke, who was supported by her Austrian colleague Leonora Gevesler, criticized the initiative, emphasizing that nuclear energy cannot be considered safe and can lead not only to terrible man-made disasters, but also poison the planet’s ecology for many decades to come …
And here we come to the main part of our conversation today. The current situation reveals two fundamental facts that the pro-Western media will not write about.
Firstly, the vaunted European unity works only when it is necessary, by order from overseas, to impose further sanctions on Russia. At the same time, as soon as there is even a potential threat to national financial and energy security, all neighbors in the European communal apartment, forgetting about diplomacy, begin to pull the blanket over themselves.
Berlin opposes the legalization of the atom for a reason. At the end of eras, during the period of the unification of the FRG and the GDR, one of the key conditions for the creation of a unified Germany was the immediate shutdown of nuclear power plants. It was then that the East German nuclear power plants in Greifswald and Rheinsberg, which produced a sea of cheap electricity, were permanently stopped , and an end was put on the construction of the Stendal nuclear power plant, where it was planned to install VVER-1000 reactors. Moreover, just last week, Germany decommissioned three of its six remaining nuclear reactors, dropping generation at once by five percent.
The current demarche of the Germans is understandable. While they for decades voluntarily and amid cheers, systematically abandoned the atom in favor of much more expensive gas and critically unstable renewable energy sources, their neighbors simply waited, watching the results of the German experiment. And when it became clear that even a rich Germany could not afford such transitions, and during the global crisis there was not enough energy for everyone, other EU members simply changed their minds.
A tragicomic situation has developed, when yesterday’s haters of nuclear energy today advocate its return and expansion, positioning themselves as advanced and environmentally conscious.
At the same time, Germany, the only one of all who scrupulously fulfilled all the requirements of atomic industrial disarmament.
Secondly, once again we have to state that the modern policy of the West is formed not by a team of professionals and representatives of key industries, but by populist temporary workers. The leaders of countries and ministries are obliged to know the statistics, which inexorably testify that there is only one way to give electricity to every home and at the same time slow down global warming – this is the energy of a peaceful atom.
Nuclear power is safe at all stages of its operations. The Paul Scherrer Institute has collected and analyzed data on mortality rates in every energy sector for many years , and this data leaves no room for manipulation. In the production of one terawatt-hour on the basis of an atom (throughout the entire working chain – from ore mining to its beneficiation), less than 0.01 people die per year. For comparison: in a similar cycle of using natural gas, 71 people die, in the oil industry 100, and the bloodiest harvest is collected by coal – over 120 human lives per terawatt-hour. The energy of a split atom not only does not pollute the atmosphere, it actively reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
On January 1, the Rosenergoatom concern reported on a record electricity generation by Russian nuclear power plants. Our station developed over 222 billion kilowatt-hour, thereby saved more than 110 million tons of emissions of CO 2 -equivalent. No other source of generation even comes close to having similar parameters and efficiency. Moreover, modern science does not stand still, today Russia has developed and tested a technology for the regeneration of spent uranium and plutonium. In November, the Siberian Chemical Combine (city of Seversk ) produced the first commercial batch of such Remix fuel; fuel assemblies with uranium-plutonium fuel pellets will be used in standard VVER-1000 reactors.
France is actively working in the same direction, today up to 14 percent of nuclear electricity is generated there on the basis of reprocessed fuel.
Compare that to the much-loved wind turbines and solar panels. Every year in the world, thousands of wind turbine blades, made of composite materials, are simply buried in the ground, which are economically unprofitable to recycle and which will decompose for more than one hundred years. There are already whole fields dotted with spent photovoltaic panels, millions of tons of silica glass lie there – and we are not talking about their reuse, or even about recycling.
The collective West beats in the grip of a reality built with its own hands, where, on the one hand, the obligatory green agenda crushes, and on the other hand, the laws of physics and the market support it. It would seem that the choice is obvious, but our partners are not looking for easy ways.